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My Samoan companion was big into Folklore, always bringing up stories of past missionaries in Samoa who either died or escaped death due to disobedience or obedience, etc.

Otherwise, our "folklore" was all still pretty new stuff, first hand and second hand accounts of the missionaries, their trainers, or of a past mission president.

One interesting bit of folklore in the mission was that a fellow missionary (actually my second companions trainer) served his last area in the same place as his first area and by the time he returned to that area, the ward had turned a biking accident that had been caused by him being hit by a car when he was there 20 months previously into his having passed away. Thus it was very surprising to the local members to see him alive and well.

That is a classic Sunstone article.

Exchanging folklore stories with my fellow missionary companions and apartment mates, often well into the late night or early morning hours, are some of my most vivid memories from my mission. At the time I probably believed or at least took seriously at least 75% of the stories. Now I recognize them for what they were: folklore.

However, even if most of those stories were 99% false, they still had merit (as is brought out in the article) as a means of releasing tension/pressure, shaping behavior, and helping me keep the faith.

As folklore shared amongst peers I find such stories innocuous; however, if preached from the pulpit by people in positions of authority, I find it irresponsible and manipulative.

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